Monday, January 31, 2011

THE KUCHING CAT MUSEUM

A map of the state of Sarawak.
Kuching is way over on the left side.
Well, since I wrote about a dog museum before, I thought I should write about a cat museum, just so that my kitty readers will be happy and will keep following my blog!  This cat museum looks like it would be a very interesting place, but it is located much farther away from where most of us live than the AKC Museum of the Dog is.  And that's because it's in the city of Kuching, which is the capital of the state of Sarawak, in the country of Malaysia.



Kuching skyline with the Sarawak River


The reason that the people of Kuching decided to make a cat museum was because the name of their city,  Kucing, means "cat" in the Malay language.  The actual idea for a cat museum came from the Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Hj Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife.  As you can see, the Chief Minister had a very long name, so if he had to spend time signing a lot of official papers, it is surprising that he also had time to think up the idea for a cat museum, but he did.  Or maybe his wife did, and he just said it was his idea, too.

The Cat Museum on the hill
Anyway, the Museum opened in 1993, and it is in a building that sits on a hill above Kuching.  The building has 1,035.9 square meters and 2,000 exhibits.  These exhibits are not so much fine art, like in the dog museum.  They are more like historical artifacts, legends, and stuff that tells about the meaning of the cat in different cultures.



Cat mummy
For instance, there is a mummy of a cat that lived in Ancient Egypt sometime between 3,000 BC and 3,500 BC.  The Egyptians thought cats were very special, and that's why they went to all the trouble to make mummies out of them after they died.  The reason they liked cats so much was because the Egyptians grew tons of grain and then stored it.  And cats liked to eat the mice and rats that liked to eat the grain, so the Egyptians were happy to have them around.  In fact, cats were so valuable that anybody who killed a cat was put to death.


Another thing you can see in the Kuching Cat Museum is the five types of wild cats that live in Borneo, including a stuffed example of the world's rarest cat, which is called Felis badia, and which lives in Borneo's rain forests.

There are lots of cat statues in Kuching
Cats are the most popular pets in Malaysia today, and it is mostly thought to be good luck to have cats around.  Except in tin mines, where cats are not allowed because they might bring bad luck.  Malaysian people used to believe that you could make it rain by soaking a cat in a pan of water.  I don't know if they still believe this or not, but I hope they don't because most of the cats I know wouldn't enjoy being soaked in a pan of water.





A whole bunch of wooden cats at the Cat Museum
So anyway, if you want to learn all sorts of interesting things about cats and also see all kinds of strange and crazy cat stuff, you can just take a little trip to Malaysia and visit the Kuching Cat Museum.  And if you go there, be sure to send me a postcard!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

THE AKC MUSEUM OF THE DOG


If you like dogs and you also like art, you should go to this museum sometime, because you will probably like it.  The location of the museum is in St. Louis, which is not close to everybody, but at least it is in the middle of the country, so maybe if you are someday going on a trip across the country, you can stop in St. Louis to see the museum.

Ginjim's Royal Acres Mervyn
by Roy Anderson
The way the museum got started was that in 1971 a bunch of members of the Westminster Kennel Club got together and decided that besides having a really big, important dog show every year, they could also do something to teach people more about dogs, and about the history of dogs in art and books, and stuff like that.  So then they started asking other dog people for money, and lots of people gave a bunch of money, and by 1981, there was enough money to open The Dog Museum of America.  And it opened first in New York City at the AKC headquarters, because they had space for it there.  The first exhibit opened to the public on September 15, 1982, and it was called "Best of Friends:  The Dog and Art."


Lots of companies that make dog food and other things for dogs gave money for the museum, and that's how a lot of the artwork got purchased.  Plus people also donated artwork, or they left it to the museum in their wills.  So the number of pieces in the museum grew until there wasn't enough room anymore at the AKC offices.  After that, five cities asked the museum's board to think about moving the museum to their town, and the five were:  Denver; Los Angeles; Pebble Hill, GA; Orlando; and St. Louis).  So the board looked at these places, and in 1986 they voted to move to St. Louis.

Chickadee
Bronze by Louise Peterson
The building where the museum is in St. Louis is a big, old mansion called the Jarville House, which was built in 1853 by Edgar Monsanto Queeny.  Mr. Queeny was the president of the Monsanto chemical company from 1928 to 1960.  The house is 14,000 square feet in size, which means it is big enough for more than 500 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and watercolors.  Some of the paintings that are always on display at the museum are by Maud Earl and Sir Edwin Landseer, who are artists I have talked about before.


If you go to the Museum of the Dog, you can see all the artwork, and you can also go in the gift shop and buy things.  Or you can use the library to do research on dogs.  And another thing you can do is rent space for a business meeting or for your dog club event.  Oh, and guess what!  Dogs are allowed in the museum, too, along with their humans.

Harlequin Great Dane
Rosenthal
Every Sunday afternoon between March and October, there is this thing called "Guest Dog of the Week," where you can meet dogs of different breeds, and you can ask their owners about what that kind of dog is like.  Of course, the dogs that go to this event have to be on their good behavior, and they are not allowed to bite the museum guests.

Mom has been to the AKC Museum of the Dog a couple of times, but she hasn't been there recently.  Maybe sometime she will drive over to St. Louis to visit the museum again, and if she does that, maybe she will take me with her.  I think that would be fun, and educational, too!

Friday, January 28, 2011

LIFE IS SCARY! by Charlie

Mom keeps saying that I am a scaredy-cat, and I am proud to say that she is right.  However, I prefer the term "wisely cautious."  I have no other choice than to be this way, because here we are, two cats in a house with four dogs, and those are really terrible odds.  Anyone could see that.  And besides the worrisome presence of the dogs, there are plenty of other things to make a cat take cover.  For instance, there's the vacuum cleaner.  And sometimes there are Strange People who come into the house -- by which I mean anyone who is not Mom.

Sometimes I think my sister Chloe is totally lacking in good sense.  I have often seen her brazenly sashaying around, right under a dog's nose, as if she didn't understand that said canine could break her neck with one snap of his evil teeth.  And maybe she really doesn't understand this, because if she did, she would surely not be so foolhardy and imprudent.

On several occasions, Chloe has actually gone OUTSIDE, in the BACK YARD, even though she is not supposed to do this.  But Mom usually leaves the back door open when the stupid dogs are out there running around and twice Chloe actually got shut out because Mom didn't know she went out there.  Then when all the dogs came in, Mom closed the door.  So Chloe had to meow loudly and scratch the door to let Mom know that she wanted back in.

Oh, and here's another dumb thing Chloe did the other night.  It was bedtime, and Mom let the dogs out to potty, and then she ran down in the basement just to get a couple of things out of the dryer.  After that, everybody came upstairs, and Mom came in the Cat Room to brush me a little bit, which was nice of her, but I was kind of nervous because that Tall Dog was lurking in the hallway.  He's the one that scares me the most of all!  Anyway, after a while, Mom realized that Chloe didn't seem to be anywhere around, which was odd, because Chloe is always around, like sitting in Mom's lap or hanging out in the bathroom while Mom is brushing her teeth.

So Mom went looking for Chloe, and guess where she found her!  In the basement.  Yep, there she was, sitting on the basement steps in the dark, waiting for Mom to let her come back upstairs.  Of course, I will be the first to admit that the basement is a really cool place for exploring, with lots of mousy smells and cobwebs and all kinds of interesting stuff to see and do.  I like to go down in the basement as much as Chloe does, but I know that it's important to keep track of Mom while I'm there, so I can run back up the stairs whenever she decides to go back up.  Otherwise, I might get trapped down there like Chloe did.


Well, anyway, getting back to the dogs, I have to admit that I wasn't very sad when Mom took Gabe away that one day, and he never came back.  I know Mom was sad about it, and so was Piper, but frankly, Gabe was not a very nice dog.  At least, not to us cats.  Luckily, most of the time he didn't feel like chasing us, but he once told me that in his prime, he could catch any cat that scampered through the house, and chew it up pretty good, too.  Maybe he was exaggerating his prowess, but maybe not.

After Gabe went away, I really started feeling safe about coming out of the Cat Room and going anywhere I pleased in the house.  But then that Tall Dog, Nicholas, moved in.  Mom said he was a greyhound who was "cat safe," but I had my doubts about that.  So for my own security, I retreated to my safe space under the covers in the Cat Room, because I was afraid I would be eaten alive if I even came out to eat my cat food.  And I love cat food, but who can eat when he is terrified?

Well, Chloe, as usual, was out and about again within a day or so after the Tall Dog arrived -- sitting in Mom's lap, meowing for food in the kitchen, perching on the microwave, and hissing at Nicholas if he came too close.  She told me that she had called Nick's bluff more than once, and that I shouldn't be afraid to do the same thing.  But I am afraid -- that's the problem.  I'm getting bolder, really I am.  I mean, I can go downstairs in the evenings and sneak around through the kitchen while Nicholas is sleeping in the living room.  But if he starts to get up, I bolt for the stairs, and then he tries to follow me.  I'm faster than he is, though, even if he is a greyhound.  I can run up the stairs lickety-split, while he's still thinking about how to get his big, clumsy feet on the first step!

Okay, well, Piper says I have written more than enough for one blog entry -- especially a blog entry by a cat.  So I'm going to stop writing, but I will first say that I am grateful to have had this opportunity to express my views.  And just to summarize the main points I was trying to make, they are:  (1) There are way too many dogs in this house, and (2) Chloe keeps doing irresponsible things that I am afraid will result in her getting into a lot of trouble someday!  So there!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MOUNTAIN LIONS IN MISSOURI!




Mountain lions are big, scary cats, kind of like tigers, except without the stripes.  They eat deer and elk and sheep and cows and basenjis and even greyhounds.  So that is why I was alarmed to learn that two mountain lions have been seen right here in Missouri during January.  And by "seen," I mean "shot and killed," so there is no question about whether they were really mountain lions.  Also, besides the two that were shot, another one was photographed this month near St. Louis by using one of those special cameras that goes off if something walks past it.  And another mountain lion was photographed in the same way last November in the county where the Kansas City airport is.





Back in the old days, mountain lions used to live all over North and South America, including in Missouri.  This was when there were just Indians living here.  But after the European settlers came, they shot the mountain lions and also the deer that the mountain lions ate.  So the mountain lions moved more to the west, which is where they mostly live today.

There are several other names for this big cat, like cougar, puma, panther, and catamount.  It is not a social animal, and it mostly hangs out by itself except when the season comes for making kittens.  Mountain lions have really big territories, and they are always moving around.  That's why you can find them all the way from Alaska to the south end of South America.  But you don't usually find them in Missouri.





An adult mountain lion can be anywhere from 60 to 102 inches long, and its tail is 21 to 35 inches long.  Males weigh 140 to 160 pounds, and females weigh 90 to 110 pounds.  There are 2 or 3 kittens in a litter, and they have cute little spots on them.  They hang out with their mom until they are about 18 months old, and then they go off to find a territory of their very own, especially if they are boys.







The places mountain lions like to live are either where the land is rough and rocky, or else where there are thick swamps.  They don't like to live near people, and they mostly only come out at night to slink around and hunt.  It's pretty rare for a mountain lion to attack a person, but sometimes they kill livestock or pets, and that's why people don't like to have them around.

In Missouri, it is illegal to kill a mountain lion, unless it is a danger to your livestock or to your life.  The lion that got killed on January 2 was in Ray County, which is just a little ways north of Kansas City.  Some men treed this mountain lion while they were hunting raccoons, and then they called the man who owned the land they were hunting on.  He came and shot the mountain lion because it had been eating his livestock, and it was legal for him to kill it.

Then this past Saturday, in northeast Missouri, some farmers who were hunting for coyotes were shocked when a mountain lion suddenly came out from under a cedar tree.  So they shot it.  This mountain lion weighed 128 pounds and measured more than 6 feet from head to tail.

Both of these animals were young males, and they were probably just here trying to make a territory for themselves because older males won't let them hang around.  The wildlife scientists are going to use DNA to find out where the dead mountain lions came from, but they think it was from North Dakota, South Dakota, or Texas.  People have been seeing mountain lions in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma, so these are all probably young males looking for mates.








The people at the Missouri Department of Conservation say that there are no mountain lions breeding in the state, and there are no plans to bring any here to start a new population of mountain lions.  The reason they don't want to do this is because they decided there would be too much danger to people and livestock here if we had a whole bunch of mountain lions.  So the ones that come to Missouri are probably just passing through.  It's kind of sad when they get shot, though.  I think it would be better just to give them a nice bus ticket so they could go back out west someplace to live.




I'm glad we won't have a whole bunch of mountain lions moving in around here because I don't want to worry about getting eaten by one whenever I go out in the back yard.  Of course, if there was a mountain lion in our back yard, it would be legal for Mom to shoot it, but she wouldn't because (1) she doesn't have a gun, and (2) she doesn't know how to shoot a gun -- except that her dad let her shoot a rifle a few times when she was a kid, and (3) she would probably be too busy running into the house to get away from the mountain lion, and (4) if she and all of us dogs were already safe in the house, Mom would probably feel sorry for the mountain lion and wouldn't want to kill it anyway.

Okay, so that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject of mountain lions in Missouri.  Except I will just add that if there are any mountain lions reading this, you should be warned that farmers shoot mountain lions here, so maybe you had better stay away!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

THE HAMBONE AWARD

There's this pet insurance company called VPI, and every year they give an award to the pet with the most unusual health insurance claim.  But first they pick a winner for each month, and after that, they choose a winner for the whole year.  So if you want to read all the stories of the nominees, you can go here.  But if you only want to hear a few of the stories, you can read them right here in my blog today.  And before I start, I will just mention that most of the Hambone winners seem to be dogs, but I'm not sure why that is.  One was a cat, though, and there was also a tortoise.



Anyway, the winner for the whole year of 2010 was a yellow lab named Ellie.  And what happened with Ellie was that her mom and dad asked a man to spray a bee hive in their yard to kill all the bees.  So he sprayed it, and all the bees died.  Then that night, Ellie started puking up hundreds of dead bees.  So her mom got very worried and took Ellie to the emergency clinic.  And the vet there decided Ellie would be okay because she didn't get stung, on account of the bees  were already dead.  Also the stuff that killed the bees wasn't very poisonous to dogs.


So Ellie got to go back home, but she had to get antacid pills for several days and eat meals of rice and chicken.  And every time she pooped for about a week, more bees came out in her poop.  Ellie's dad said there were thousands of bees.  But finally they were all gone, and Ellie was fine again.

The winner for the month of December 2010 was also a yellow lab, and his name was Gus.  I think we shouldn't be surprised that a bunch of these winners were yellow labs because if you ever saw the movie Marley and Me, you would know that Marley was a yellow lab, and he also ate weird stuff such as drywall.  So maybe it is a genetic thing with yellow labs.

But anyhow, Gus's story is that during the holidays, there were guests staying at his house, and Gus's mom and dad kept a lot of snacks out on the kitchen counter for everybody to eat.  Then all the humans went to a football game, and when they came home, they found out Gus had eaten all the goodies, which included lots of cookies plus a plate of fudge and the plastic wrap that was over it.  Also he had started chewing on a metal cookie tin.



So Gus had to go to the emergency clinic.  The veterinarian there weighed him, then made him puke up all the nice stuff he ate, and then weighed him again.  And it turned out that Gus ate 5 whole pounds of yummy Christmas goodies.

A yellow lab named Tobey won in November because he swallowed lots of water from the lawn sprinkler, and his stomach got all stretched out and way fuller than it was supposed to be.

In October, Howie, who is a poodle, swallowed an acorn that got stuck in his throat and made it so he couldn't breathe.  Howie's dad tried this thing called the Heimlich maneuver on him, but it didn't work, so Howie had to go to the vet's office.  He finally swallowed the acorn so he could breathe again, but then it came out in his poop later.





Sadie, a golden retriever, was going for a walk with her mom in July, and a river otter bit her right in the face and wouldn't let go.  This otter weighed maybe 20 or 25 pounds.  Sadie's mom didn't have any kind of weapon to use against the otter, but she hit it with the handle of Sadie's flexi lead, and that made the otter let go.  Sadie was okay except for having to take antibiotics and get a rabies booster shot.

And here's a story about a cat named Sandy who won the award in August of 2009.  Sandy was a very bold and curious cat, and she climbed into the clothes dryer to see what was in there.  Then her mom turned the dryer on, and right away she heard a strange thumping sound.  So she turned the dryer off and looked inside, and there was Sandy!  She took Sandy to the vet, but it turned out that Sandy only had one broken rib and some bruises.



So those are some of the stories of pets who won the Hambone Award.  And here's something else that's interesting, which is a list of all the stuff that was taken out of pets' stomachs during 2010.  This list was also put together by the VPI Insurance people.


jellyfish
glue
estrogen patch and make-up brush
tube of denture adhesive
dead poisoned vole
bikini
ink pen
plastic nose from teddy bear
magnetic purse clasps
baseball
glass Christmas ornament
hearing aid
bed sheet
box of pencils
popsicle stick
avocado pit
dental floss
coffee filter and coffee grounds
fishhook
pain relief tablet, BB pellet and highlighter
tent door
toy squeaker
watch
16 steel wool pads
pseudoephedrine, sponge, snail poison and tampon
20 cherry pits
light bulb
barbecue brush
Frisbee
jumper cables
razor blades
1 pound of uncooked rice
wallpaper paste
squirrel
balloon ribbons
a whole bird
deer antler (partial)
extension cord
leash and 3 sticks of butter
pin cushion
portion of wool rug
tobacco
TV remote control
10 quarters, a penny, a Canadian coin and 3 arcade tokens
foot-long submarine sandwich
fire log
wooden toy train
pine cone
entire round chew bone
caulk
eye glasses
money (paper)
oil-soaked dirt
sand
rosary crucifix
25 to 30 soiled diapers
bath bubble mix
bathtub cleaner and outdoor plants
duck bone




I think that the lesson we can learn from this is that if you have any of the items on this list in your house, or if you have any other weird thing that a dog or cat might decide to eat, you should put it in a safe place where your pet cannot get to it.  Because if you don't, you might end up paying Really Big Bucks at the veterinarian's office!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Martha Stewart's Dogs

Martha Stewart is a very nice lady who knows how to make everything in your house look really pretty and also how to make all your food taste very yummy.  And the reason I can be sure that she is very nice, even though I never met her personally, is because she loves animals.  She has several dogs, and she has a bunch of cats who were all named for composers, and she lives on a farm where there are chickens and geese and sheep and donkeys and horses.












A few weeks ago, Ms. Stewart was in the news because she had a little accident with one of her French bulldogs, Francesca, and she had to get 10 stitches in her upper lip.  At first, some people thought that Francesca bit her mom, but that was not what happened.  What happened was that Ms. Stewart was getting ready to leave for a little trip, and she went to say goodbye to Francesca, who was enjoying a very nice nap at the time.  So when Ms. Stewart bent down to kiss Francesca goodbye, Francesca was startled awake, and she sat up very suddenly and hit her mom right in the mouth!  Which just goes to show that the old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie" is true, and you should always follow it unless you want to get some stitches.




Anyway, besides Francesca, who is a black Frenchie, Martha Stewart also has a white Frenchie named Sharkey.  These two girls have their very own blog, just like I do, except theirs has lots more photos than mine.  And the photos are of their farm and house and stuff.  You can read the blog here: http://dailywag.marthastewart.com/   And if you read the blog and look at the pictures, you can meet the donkeys, whose names are Clive, Rufus, and Billie.












Another kind of dog breed that Ms. Stewart likes is the Chow Chow.  These dogs have LOTS of hair, like so much hair that you might have trouble seeing certain parts of them such as their ears or butts.  Some of Ms. Stewart's chows have been show dogs.  One that she had for many years and loved very much was named Kublai Khan Paw Paw.  Sadly, Paw Paw died in 2008 when he was 12 years old.







Then in March of 2009, a really horrible thing happened when Ms. Stewart was boarding her 5-month-old puppy, Ghenghis Khan (a grandson of Paw Paw), at a kennel.  A propane truck exploded there, and the whole kennel caught on fire.    Ghenghis Khan and 16 other dogs died in the fire.








Now Ms. Stewart has another puppy named Ghenghis Khan.  He is called G.K. by Sharkey and Francesca in their blog.  G.K. is the great-grandson of Paw Paw, and his father is a famous show dog named Maddox.














All of Martha Stewart's cats seem to be the long-haired kind with smushy faces, like Persians or Himalayans.  I think they all look kind of like kitty versions of Chow Chows.  Which is fine if you like hairy dogs and cats, but Mom and I mostly prefer short-haired animals.















Anyway, Ms. Stewart likes to dress her pets up in little costumes and outfits.  Also she designs stuff like dog necklaces.  I guess she does this because she is a person who likes to dress everything up to make it look prettier.  Personally, I would not put up with that kind of thing, but maybe if you are Martha Stewart's dog or cat, you don't really get a choice.

But what I would really like is to live on a farm, the way Sharkey and Francesca and G.K. do, with donkeys and chickens and all kinds of interesting animals.  I asked Mom if we could move to a farm, but she said she couldn't afford to buy us one.  Also she couldn't afford to pay all the people that you have to have to take care of a farm.  I was surprised, because I thought Martha Stewart did everything herself, but Mom said if I thought that, I was nuts!



Saturday, January 22, 2011

EXTINCT GIANT PENGUINS

Most people think that penguins live in cold places like Antarctica, and not in warm places like Peru.  And they think that was especially true back millions and millions of years ago, when the whole earth was lots warmer than it is now, and the air-conditioner hadn't been invented yet.  So that is why scientists were shocked in 2005 when they found some fossils of really, really tall penguins who used to live in the warm water near the equator.

Icadyptes salasi



The tallest penguin we have nowadays is the Emperor penguin, and it is 4.3 feet tall.  But one of these fossil penguins was 5 feet tall and had a beak that was 7 inches long.  This penguin is called Icadyptes salasi, and it lived about 36 million years ago.  First it probably started out living near New Zealand, and then it sort of migrated north to the ocean near southern Peru.












A picture of Perudyptes that shows
where the fossil bones fit. 

The other penguin fossil that the scientists found in Peru was even older, like 42 million years old.  In dog years, this would be 2 billion, 94 million years!  Anyway, this penguin was called Perudyptes devriesi, and it was between 2.5 and 3 feet tall, which is about the same size as a King penguin is today.  It may have started out living near Antarctica before it moved north.




Perudyptes, Humbolt, Icadyptes
Until these fossils were found, people had thought that penguins lived where it was pretty cold, at least until the earth cooled off to be the temperature it is now.  Today you can find the Humbolt penguin living along the coasts of Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, but it is lots smaller than the two fossil penguins.  Also there is a penguin called the Galapagos penguin, and it lives right on the equator.  It is the only penguin that ever crosses over into the Northern Hemisphere, but only by a few hundred yards.

Okay, so what do we know about these extinct giant penguins besides the fact that they were really tall?  Well, for one thing, we know they were probably really good swimmers, which is also true of penguins today.  But the extinct penguins had flippers that still looked a little more like wings than the flippers of modern penguins do.  And this is because they were still busy changing over from being regular birds that fly to being penguins that only waddle and swim.



The giant penguins probably ate lots of yummy fish, because it would be easy for them to catch and swallow fish with their big, long beaks.  We don't know what color these penguins were, but I like to think they were black-and-white, like me.

I don't think I would like to meet either Icadyptes or Perudyptes because those big beaks make them look kind of fierce and scary, especially Icadyptes.  And also their names are hard to spell.  I hope that doesn't mean I am a bad little dog for saying that, but I am just being honest about how I feel!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What's Happening at Our House

Well, first of all, we had a ton of snow, and by "a ton" I mean about 7 inches, which is pretty tall snow to walk around in if you are a petite little dog like me.  And if you are a girl dog, you have to put your tushie all the way down into the very cold snow just so you can pee.  But it's still better than peeing in the rain, at least in my opinion.  Here's a picture of me running in the snow.


Anyway, it snowed all of Wednesday afternoon and all of Wednesday night, and then it stopped.  And after it stopped on Thursday, the sun came out, so it was very pretty, but it was still really cold, so I mostly stayed inside.  But my dumb brothers kept going outside, and the reason Mel and Barry kept going outside was so they could eat poop.  And the reason Nicky went outside was to chase squirrels and just run around in a goofy sort of way, like greyhounds do.


Nicky went to see Dr. Patricia on Tuesday, and she said he was very cute and also very nice.  Nicky has really stinky breath and dirty teeth, so he is going to get his teeth cleaned by the veterinarian that REGAP uses because REGAP is going to pay for it.  But Dr. Patricia checked Nicky out all over, and she was a little worried because he was having soft poop, so she put him on some metronidazole, which Mel takes all the time and Gabe used to also take it because it is supposed to get rid of the bad stuff in your gut.


Well, on Tuesday night, after Nick started taking the pills, he had to get up twice in the night to go out and poop, which did not make Mom happy.  And then on Wednesday, he had to have diarrhea some more.  But finally Mom remembered that she had some Imodium that she could give him, and also she cooked rice for his supper, and he ate it, even though it was boring.  And Wednesday night he did not have to go out and poop at all.

But then this other thing happened to Nicky, which is that he hurt his leg Wednesday night, and it was bleeding and stuff, and we don't know how he did it exactly.  Mom thinks he probably cut it when he was out running around in the snow after supper, because even though there was all this soft, new snow, there was some hard, sharp, frozen snow under that.  So maybe that is how Nicky cut his leg.  Or maybe he did it when he fell down the stairs on his way to eat Supper of Dogs.  Personally, I think he's kind of a klutz, and that may be the real reason why he didn't become a famous race dog.


So after Mom had figured out that Nicky cut his leg, she bandaged it up with some gauze and purple vet wrap.  Mom knew how to do this because when we were fostering greyhounds before, they were always hurting themselves and Mom was always having to bandage them.  Greyhounds have, like, really thin skin, and if you just barely scratch it, it starts bleeding.  Or at least that's what it seems like to me.


Anyway, Mom thought Nicky's leg would heal up okay, and she wouldn't have to take him to the vet, but then yesterday morning, when he was out running around in the snow, chasing squirrels, he came in and one of his toenails was all bloody and stuff, so Mom decided she had maybe better take him to see Dr. Patricia because Mom does not know how to bandage an entire foot.  Plus maybe Nicky needed some antibiotics.  But one good thing is that Nicky doesn't try to chew his bandage off, the way I do, so he doesn't have to wear The Cone of Shame.


Mom called Dr. Patricia's office and made an appointment for Nicky to go there yesterday afternoon.  Then she had to call the neighbors and get their kids to come over and shovel her driveway because it had a lot of snow in it, just like the back yard did.  But Mom shoveled the patio herself, or at least part of it.  She says she is getting old and it hurts her back to shovel snow, and that is why she will pay somebody else to do it.


So anyway, when Mom took Nicholas to see Dr. Patricia, she said he had a deep abrasion and that Mom needed to keep it bandaged for a while until it healed up and also so that Nicky wouldn't lick it.  And Dr.  Patricia also put some stuff on the wounds to kind of clean them up and kill the nasty bacteria.  We are just going to wait and see what happens with the diarrhea and if it gets better or what.  And if it doesn't, Dr. Patricia will probably think of something expensive to do to make it go away.

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you that we found out why the people who first adopted Nick gave him to REGAP, and the reason is that they had some little kids who were always playing with Nick and his sister Nadine in kind of a mean way.  So Nicky started being afraid of the kids, and he would mostly hide in his crate all the time.  And Nadine got kind of growly with the kids, so the people decided they should find a new home for the dogs, which was a good thing to decide, if you ask me, because I wouldn't want some annoying kids picking on me all the time either.

Okay, well, The other important thing I should have told you was that Wednesday was MEL'S BIRTHDAY!!  And he was 11 years old!  We didn't really do anything special to celebrate.  We were going to maybe have an egg for supper, but then Nicky was having all that diarrhea and stuff, and Mom had to cook some rice for him, so she did not want to bother with cooking an egg, too.  She says maybe she will do it another day.  Here's a picture of Mel when he just came in from outside with snow on his head.


Of course, Wednesday would have been Gabe's birthday, too, but that is sad, so I'm not going to talk about it very much.  Gabe would have been 13 years old.  The nice people at Mission MedVet called to say that Gabe's ashes are there, and Mom can pick them up, so maybe she will do that today.

Well, that's pretty much all that's happening here at our house right now.  Oh, except that Mom found a picture of the dog she maybe should have adopted instead of Nicky because this dog has some very special skills!